H-E-B Named Grocery Store Of Year 2020
Regional Grocery Takes Top Spot For Its’ COVID-19 Response
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 1/8/2021, 9:28 a.m.
When it comes to grocery stores, Texans can agree that H-E-B is the best. Yes, they have a wide variety of food and other things. Yes, they make meal prep easy for cooks and non-cooks with their ready-made meals and cooking demos. But what keeps people coming back time and time again to shop at H-E-B is the way they treat customers and how that care follows to help communities.
H-E-B’s motto fits their culture and the way they operate, here every- thing is better. Out of all the grocers, H-E-B is constantly ranked as the best for their handling of the global pan- demic. Now they have received another recognition by Grocery Dive, a leading publication providing content on the news and trends of the grocery store industry, being named Grocer of the Year.
If you stay ready, you will never have to get ready is a quote often said by progressive leaders. H-E-B’s emergency preparedness team started watching and planning for the COVID-19 pandemic before it hit the US hard by speaking with those abroad. From that initial prep work, the committee took their findings to store and warehouse employees simulating different scenarios for if the pandemic hit the US and how they would respond. As a result with COVID struck the US hard in March, H-E-B was ready while others were scrambling.
While many store shelves were empty of the core supplies most needed by consumers, H-E-B wasn’t due to their “owning many of its own manu- facturing plants and having strategically placed warehouses throughout the Lone Star State,” according to GroceryDive. com.
Beyond their preparation, H-E-B got creative by thinking out of the traditional box. They were the first to do social distancing and traffic metering before other stores. It tapped distributors who normally delivered certain supplies that were not needed as much in a pandemic to distributed supplies that were needed. An example is how they had their beer distributor to deliver ship eggs.
H-E-B kept its customers and their health in mind by establishing a special delivery service for customers 60 and older, who were in a higher risk group of getting COVID.
Employees were also the re- cipients of H-E-B’s generosity. In the midst of the pandemic, other companies were lowering the hours and wages of employees and laying them off. H-E-B increased employee wages and gave them a bonus.
Furthermore, H-E-B rolled out new concepts to better reach consumer needs. Residents in Austin saw the open- ing of Main Streat, the first in-store food hall featuring local restaurants. It sought new markets like Lubbock to open a new store. They also build up the density in their stores in San Antonio and Austin.
H-E-B reached out to restau- rants to revamp their Meal Simple collection to sever special meals that consumers could easily heat and go. Thereby keeping a lot of local restau- rants from closing their doors.
Students were consider as H-E-B continue to have a sale on school supplies added in tools for virtual learn- ing, hand sanitizer, and masks when this wasn’t even a focus for others.
By listening and comprehend- ing what shoppers, business leaders, community leaders say H-E-B really is a store for the entire community by meeting the needs of the people in more ways than one. H-E-B truly has a heart for all Texans.
Houston Style Magazine proudly salutes H-E-B on being named Grocer of the Year 2020.